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Ah, springtime in the Rockies.  Crab apple trees in full bloom, deep blue skies, daffodils and tulips popping up everywhere, temperatures in the 70’s and a winter storm watch for the weekend with the potential of 10-18″ of snow here (and 2-4 feet in the foothills).

crab apple tree

This is the tree that got me into beekeeping – today it’s all abuzz with bees.


Daffodils in bloom – before the snow

I took advantage of the good weather today to see how the split I made last week is doing.  First up was BnB1 where the split went.  I was worried that the queen had flown away during the split, but there she was – still hanging out on the wonky drone comb.

Queen on comb in BnB1.

Queen on comb in BnB1.

Queen on comb

Closeup of her majesty still hanging on the wonky comb – with newly capped brood.

All looked good in BnB1, so next it was on to BnB2 to see if they had started making queen cells to raise a new queen.  Before we found any queen cells, we found lots of drone brood and bees on every frame.  Diana helped me today and was surprised how many bees there were.

Drone brood in BnB2

Drone brood in BnB2

Lots of bees on every frame

Lots of bees on every frame

As we moved further into the hive, we found queen cups and fully capped queen cells.  They had been busy!

Capped queen cells on comb in BnB2

Capped queen cells on comb in BnB2

More queen cells.

More queen cells.

There was lots of other capped brood, so there are plenty of new bees on the way.  This hive is bustling and will be ripe for another split before too long.  I’m almost tempted to make a small nuc with some brood and queen cells right now!

Now, it’s time to wait for the queens to hatch from the cells.  It takes 16 days for a queen to develop from an egg.   Given that the eggs they used for the new queens were anywhere from 1-3 days old, that should mean that by next weekend (14 days since the split), a queen might hatch.  Usually, the first queen to hatch will kill off any other developing queens. It will then take about another 10 days for the virgin queen to be mated and after that, a few more days for her to start laying eggs.

And all this will depend on the weather.  While we will get some cold and snow this weekend, it should be back in the 60’s by next weekend so I can probably check back in again.  But then there is the possibility of another storm the week after that which might affect her mating flights.  And she could get lost or eaten on her mating flight.

So, BnB2 is not out of the woods yet, but it’s all exciting to watch!



1 Comment

Julie · April 15, 2016 at 10:41 am

Hooray!!! See how easy it is to make a split? It’s like taking candy from a baby — or babies from some bees. 😉 Congrats on your lovely queen cells!

Looking at those daffodils, it’s hard to believe that you have a huge snow storm coming up. Nuts. Hope you and the girls stay warm!

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